There are some passengers who are a pain to fly with. There are other passengers who aren’t respectful of other fliers. And then there are fliers who don’t get what they want and raise a commotion. We all hope we never encounter any of those flyers, but some unlucky people had a 5-hour delay because of one man’s refusal to accept an alternate meal.
On Saturday, March 2, 2019, Air Canada flight 118 was scheduled to fly from Vancouver to Toronto. The flight was due to take off at 2:10 pm Pacific Time and land in Toronto at 9:30 pm Eastern Time. That was until meal orders were taken.
Most business class passengers will have their meal order taken prior to takeoff to expedite service while in the air. It seems like this flight had a similar protocol. The story goes that a man in business class who could not eat meat or wheat, presumably due to medical reasons, wanted a fish dish. The crew informed the passenger that there were no fish dishes available.
Instead of accepting alternate options or coming up with a solution, the man started to become hostile towards the crew and spoke in a rude manner. According to sources, the flight attendant offered several options in order to fit his dietary restrictions, however, the man was far less than accepting of this predicament.
Calmly, in what could only seem to be a passive-aggressive manner, the man claimed that he was going to get his fish dish served either by the flight attendant or himself. Now, while that could work in someone’s house, this is far less of an option on a plane. The man’s behavior continued in a downward trend as he reportedly became verbally abusive towards the crew and exclaimed some swear words.
After the passenger became hostile and unruly, the pilot returned to the gate and the passenger in question was deplaned. While many assumed this would be the end of the matter, it turned out to be far from the truth.
It turns out that the cockpit crew of the 787-9 timed out due to the delay and new pilots had to be sourced to continue the flight to Toronto.
Vancouver has significant Air Canada operations and another crew was found, although the new cockpit crew came with a five-hour delay.
Flying business class is meant to be a pleasurable experience, however, in some cases, first choice meals are not available due to limited quantity or other passengers having selected the dish first.
However, under no circumstances, is it acceptable for a passenger to become hostile towards the crew due to a meal choice that is unavailable. While some may associate business class travel with an elite, “I am the king” kind of vibe, it is far from the truth. Flight attendants offered multiple other options and short of somehow running into an undiscovered batch of fish meals, it didn’t seem likely that the man in question would have gotten fish.
We will have to wait and see if Air Canada takes any major action against this passenger due to his unruly behavior.
Have you ever been on a flight with an unruly passenger that caused a delay? Let us know in the comments below!